Say that five times fast. 😉
I couldn’t do it. Could you? Hold on. I’ll try again.
Nope. Still can’t do it.
Anyway…so I’m always on the lookout for a new Christmas cookie to make and as I was browsing Pinterest and the interwebs a few weeks ago I found this dandy of a recipe for Turtle Cookie Cups. Looks ah-ma-zing. But we can’t have nuts in our house. Drat. But then my brain got to thinking (dangerous, I know)…what if I used the general premise of the turtle cookie but changed things up a bit to mimic one of my most favorite winter hot chocolate flavors…salted caramel . Yep. Yep, that would do. Here’s what I came up with…and the end result was absolute heaven in cookie form.
Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Cookies (makes about 4 dozen cookies)
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs (to make egg-free, use a mixture of 2 Tbls baking powder, 2 Tbls vinegar, and 2 Tbls water)
4 Tbls milk
2 tsp vanilla
several large handfuls pretzel sticks, crushed/chopped (sorry…not very scientific)
one bag of rolos (you’ll have a few leftover…or if you’re like me, well, you won’t) 😉
Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup plus 2 Tbls caramel bits (find them in the baking aisle)
3 Tbls heavy cream
1/2 tsp sea salt
Mix up the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, and salt)…set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I used my stand mixer but a hand mixer would work just fine for this. Add eggs, milk, & vanilla. Mix until combined. Add dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Scrape dough (it’s sticky) into a mound in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 30 min-1 hour.
Dough will still be pretty sticky once chilled but if you work quickly it doesn’t stick to your hands too much. Roll into balls & roll balls in crushed pretzels, leaving a small area on top without pretzels (this is where you’ll stick the rolo later).
Pop em in the oven at 350 for 12 minutes. Unwrap your rolos while you wait. When you take the cookies out…
…pop a rolo into the middle of each one while they are still nice and hot so the rolo melts just a touch and adheres to the cookie. I went back after I stuck them all in and gave each one another little jiggle, just to get them settled in.
Now it’s time to whip up the salted caramel sauce. Pour caramels and cream into a microwave safe bowl and nuke em for one minute. Stir. Nuke for another minute. Stir. Mixture should be smooth…nuke another 30 seconds if you need to. Stir in sea salt…be sure to mix well! (You could also just sprinkle the sea salt on top of the caramel after the next step if you wanted to do it that way.)
And then drizzle that amazing concoction all over your cookies.
Allow to cool completely. Oh. My.
Do try not to eat the entire batch in one sitting. I wish you the best of luck with that. 😉
Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie?? This one is quickly becoming mine…